cycling news / Leopard starts important weeks with Flèche du Sud
When the end of May approaches, the focus at the Leopard Pro Cycling team is always on the two most important races of the season. Next week, the Škoda Tour de Luxembourg is on the menu, but first the team will face the course of the 68th Flèche du Sud.
Roster: Jan Brockhoff, Carmelo Foti, Pit Leyder, Aksel Nõmmela, Szymon Rekita & Jens Reynders – DS: Markus Zingen
From today until Sunday, the 28th of May, Luxembourgish UCI Continental Team Leopard Pro Cycling will take on the opposition at one of the home races in Luxembourg, the Flèche du Sud. The fact that the riders are able to show themselves on the roads they know best has been leading to great results in the past. If you take a closer look at recent results at the Flèche, you can notice some Leopard stage wins with riders like Bob Jungels and also very strong performances with the likes of Pit Schlechter, Joël Zangerle, Eugenio Alafaci, Alex Kirsch, Fábio Silvestre and Alexander Krieger.
The Flèche du Sud will start off with an evening stage of only 80 kilometers in and around Rédange. Here, the pack will find a local circuit of around 11,5 kilometers that needs to be covered five times. In this circuit there are two difficult climbs making sure that there will be no easy start to the race. Also the second stage is not easy. Starting in Rumelange, the riders will see a route that goes up and down all day long, with a difficult final where the climb to Langegrund (2,3 km at 4,3%) has to be done three times. At the top of the final ascent there are only eight kilometers left to the finish line.
On Friday, the race starts at Bourscheid after which the riders will go criss-cross around the area to finish again on an uphill finish in Bourscheid after 128,8 kilometers. With over 3200 altimeters, this third stage can be marked as the queen stage of this years race. As the race enters the weekend, stage four from Mondorf to Roeser is a relatively easier stage. Altough the fatigue will play a major role, if there is one stage that is likely to end up in a sprint, it will be this penultimate one. On Sunday, the Flèche du Sud ends with a 144 kilometers long day in and around Esch-sur-Alzette. On this day everyone that is still in the top flight of the general classification has a chance to make a decisive move to take home the overall win. With climbs up to the Côte du Rébierg (1,5 km at 4,6%) and the Côte de Soleuvre (520 m at 5,2%), the course offers plenty of opportunities to do so. For Leopard Pro Cycling, this race and the route opens up opportunities to make a difference and show the black and blue outfit to the home crowd. Luxembourgish youngster Pit Leyder can’t wait for the race to start.
Pit Leyder: “I am really looking forward to race the Flèche du Sud because it is a very important and really hard race in my own country. I can’t wait for the race to start tomorrow. I expect a tough race, because of the very strong field of riders and the amount of altitude meters in some stages. However, I am excited to race on the roads that I know from training. Therefore I am very motivated and I want to perform well in every stage and as we have a really strong team, I am sure that we are able to get some good results.”
Markus Zingen, DS: “Like always, this period with Flèche du Sud and next weeks Škoda Tour de Luxembourg is a big goal for us as a Luxembourgish UCI Continental Team. Everybody has been working hard to reach his top level for these highlights and the last weeks showed that we are on the right way. I am pretty sure that we can reach some great results with 100% motivation and dedication. We have different options at Flèche du Sud, for example with our fast guys Aksel Nõmmela and Pit Leyder. Of course, it’s not a secret that we also want to play a key role in the GC. We have a strong team on site and everybody can take his chance day by day. We are looking forward to the challenge!”
Route Flèche du Sud 2017